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Dept. of Labor is not announcing worker safety violations

The New York Times reports that the Department of Labor has not publicized a single worker safety corporate fine since the inauguration of the President.

In a sharp break with the past, the department has stopped publicizing fines against companies. As of Monday, seven weeks after the inauguration of President Trump, the department had yet to post a single news release about an enforcement fine.

During the Obama administration, the announcements of fines were used as a major tool for workplace safety enforcement, "essentially publicly shaming companies" that violated worker safety rules. It issued an average of about 460 news releases annually about fines and other enforcement actions.

The Times quotes a spokeswoman for the Labor Department as declining to comment when asked why OSHA had not issued any such releases, but saying that the agency’s enforcement efforts were unchanged.

A google search for site:osha.gov “Citation and Notification of Penalty ” 2017 discovered only one citation issued after Jan 20, 2017.

The DOL page for News Releases for OSHA shows that the last press release for a fine or penalty was on jan 17 and that page bears a banner that says "Please note: As of January 20, 2017, information in some news releases may be out of date or not reflect current policies."

Four new press releases are listed on that page. One urges workers to "safeguard themselves," two announce partnerships to enhance workplace safety, and one announces a proposed delay in the effective date of a rule designed to protect workers from lung cancer.


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